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President Trump on Friday blamed inclement weather and a malfunctioning teleprompter for flubbing part of his Independence Day speech. During the rain-soaked "Salute to America" event, Trump made a reference to nonexistent airports during the American Revolution, a comment he walked back a day later.
"We had a lot of rain," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. "I stood in the rain. The teleprompter went out. The teleprompter kept going out and then at the end it just went out. It went kaput."
In his July 4 speech, the president recalled the creation of the Army by the Continental Congress in 1775.
"The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown," Trump said. "Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do."
There was no air travel during the Revolutionary War. Wilbur and Orville Wright invented and flew the first plane in 1903.
Trump said the teleprompter malfunctioned during his prepared remarks, resulting in the mistake.
"Actually right in the middle of that sentence it went out," he said Friday. "And that's not a good feeling."
Trump continued: "When you're standing in front of millions and millions of people on television and — I don't know what the final count was, but that went all the way back to the Washington Monument. And I guess the rain knocked out the teleprompter."
Still, Trump insisted he "knew the speech very well."
"So I was able to do it without a teleprompter," he said. "So the teleprompter did go out. And it was actually hard to look at anyway because there was rain all over it."